Bhatri Ditya is another significantly popular name for the festival of Bhai Dooj. Bhatri Ditya glorifies the beautiful relationship shared between brother and sister. On this day sisters apply tilak on the forehead of their brother and pray for his long life. Brothers and sisters eagerly wait for the festival and celebrate it with joy and enthusiasm. Bhatri Ditya falls on the last day of five-day-long Diwali celebrations which is celebrated in the Hindu month of Kartik (October - November). The festival is called Bhatri Ditya as the day of the festival corresponds to 'Ditya' or 'Dooj' day, meaning the next day after new moon and 'Bhatri' means brother.
Legend of Bhatri Ditya
Custom of celebrating Bhatri Ditya finds roots in the legend of Lord Yamaraj, the Hindu mythological God of Death. The festival is therefore called as Yama Ditya by many. The legend says that Dharamraj met his twin sister Yami or Yamuna on the auspicious day of Dooj after a separation of several years. Yami greeted her brother very warmly. She applied tilak on her brother's forehead, took arti of him and treated him with a delicious meal. Yama was so delighted that he announced that anyone who is greeted with a tilak and a meal by his sister will not be pushed to hell. Since then the tradition is being dutifully carried out by brothers and sisters in India. Many siblings make it a point to take a dip in the sacred water of river Yamuna before going to sister's house for performing the ceremonies.
Rituals of Bhatri Ditya
Rituals of Bhatri Ditya are quite elegant and sober. Brothers visit their sisters house on this day to perform the ceremonies. They are greeted with warmth by their sisters. A sister applies a tika of roli (vermilion), kesar (saffron) and rice on the forehead of brother. This tika symbolizes a protection mark for brother against hardships in life. Thereafter, a sister performs arti of her brother and invoke the blessings of Lord Yamaraj for his health and long life. People belonging to Kayastha community in Uttar Pradesh worship their clan deity, Chitraguptha, the mythical accountant of Dharam Raja on this day. Besides some sisters also worship berry trees on the occasion to ensure well being of their brother.
After the ceremonies are over, brother is given a sweet to eat. He is also pampered with gifts by loving sister besides a sumptuous meal. Brothers too bless sisters and pray for their long life. They are also supposed to express their love for sisters with the customary Bhatri Ditya Gift or some cash.
Bhatri Ditya Celebrations
Euphoria of Festival of Lights can be seen in Bhatri Ditya celebrations as Bhatri Ditya marks the end of Diwali Festival. A joyful spirit prevail on the day. Enthusiasm is writ large on the faces of siblings as they share the sweetness of their childhood togetherness and have a memorable time. Yummy food prepared by sisters is relished by the entire family.